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Defenseman Duncan Keith
While it would be a wonderful achievement for the United States to win the gold medal in hockey, Olympic hockey carries much more gravitas in Canada.
While there is probably as much pressure on Russia to win as Canada, the depression will last much longer for the Canadians if they don't win.
Any Canadian loss in international competition is considered something of a tragedy.
Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp are the Blackhawks who will represent Canada in the Olympics. Toews may be Canada's second-most important player after Sidney Crosby.
Toews has scored 15 goals and 29 assists in 45 games this season and a solid plus-21 rating. Toews is averaging 20:27 of ice time per game and is winning 56.8 of his face-offs.
That last category means Toews will be on the ice in the late stages of games when the Canadians are either trying to preserve a lead or get one. Toews and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins are likely to take the majority of the most important draws.
Sharp has been on a scoring surge in recent games with nine goals in his last seven games. Sharp is a sniper who can fill the net. He has 25 goals and 21 assists in 45 games and he also has seven power-play goals. Look for Sharp to take a regular shift and play a key position on the power play for Canada.
Keith is probably the odds-on leader to win the Norris Trophy this year. Keith won the Norris Trophy in 2009-10, and he is playing at least as well this season. Keith leads all defensemen with 42 points (three goals and 39 assists) this season.
Keith is a marvelous player on the defensive end. He has a quick and active stick and his positioning is usually flawless. He is averaging 24:26 of ice time per game and he should come close to that figure with the Canadian Olympic team.
If Canada is going to come away with the gold medal this year as it did in 2010, the Blackhawks' trio of Toews, Sharp and Keith will all play important roles.